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On-Demand Driver Service Platform DriveU Raises Undisclosed Round From Unitus Seed Fund

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DriveU, an on-demand driver service portal, has announced that it has raised funding from Unitus Seed Fund. Although the company has not revealed the financials, sources have told ET that the amount is $1 million.

With the money raised in this round, the company will now be looking at expanding its operations to Tier I and Tier II cities.

DriveU, which started its operations in July 2015, is a different take on the on-demand cab services. The platform allows users to hire drivers on the go, instead of hiring cabs or taxis. It is currently operating in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.

The team claims to be implementing the best practices in technology, driver verification, training methods and on-road commute experience. Customer safety is of utmost experience to DriveU and so, they follow stringent policies to get the drivers verified by police and RTO before registering them on the system.

The company has about 250 drivers on board but aims to ramp up the number to one lakh in the next 2-3 years. A fare of Rs 99 per hour is charged and there is no surge pricing during peak hours.

With the help of its app, one can book the nearest available DriveU driver and can track while the driver is on route to the customer’s pickup location.  Once booking is confirmed, all the necessary information such as driver’s name, picture, rating, phone number, location, distance from customer’s pick up point and estimated time of arrival is provided.

Commenting about this development, Rahm Shastry said,

Imagine not needing a car, because you already have your own – but just a reliable, background-verified, on-demand driver, for your weekday commute or simply for attending social events. That’s the gap being addressed by DriveU.

We ensure seamless user experience by implementing the best practices in technology, driver verification, training methods and on-road commute experience. Customer safety is of utmost experience to DriveU and we follow stringent policies to get the drivers verified by police and RTO before registering them on the system.

Until January 2016, the company claims to have served over 15,000 trips to over 6,000 customers, of which over 60 per cent are women. According to Rahm, the potential market for DriveU still remains large as India is the fifth largest passenger-car market globally.

Will Poole, Unitus Seed Fund Co-Founder and Managing Partner says,

The firm’s stellar team, strong focus on technology and ability to innovatively solve the need for private car utilisation while also improving driver livelihoods is a model that we believe will be both scalable and profitable.

As of car ownership, India stands at 160th position globally, with 18 cars per 1,000 people. According to a rough estimate, the average level of ownership will increase to 35 cars per 1,000 people by 2025.


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